‘Solomon the father of Rehoboam’ (Matthew 1:7)
Read: Deuteronomy 17:14-20; 1 Kings 4:26, 10:14-29, 11:1-2.
Israel’s kings were specifically charged not to acquire three things: horses, wives, and silver/gold (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Solomon greedily amassed all of them. He acquired money: thirty to eighty tons of gold in just one year (1 Kings 10:14). He acquired sex: a shocking 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). He acquired power: 40,000 horses (1 Kings 4:26).
Did it make him happy? No. Especially if we attribute Ecclesiastes to him. He learned nothing ‘under the sun’ – in this world – can ultimately satisfy. Life is meaningless unless we have God at the centre. That’s the conclusion he eventually came to. How then should we live? ‘Fear God [be in rejoicing, trembling awe of him] and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Our Western culture’s mantra is so often ‘more, more, more’. More money. More qualifications. More cool stuff. More square footage. More sex. More followers. More influence. More power. More approval. But all this acquiring becomes a burden on your back, as, like many of us, you selfishly succumb to the temptation to cheat, deceive, cut corners and push others down to get it. Like Solomon, we turn a blind eye to the slave labour that’s suffering to get us what we want.
‘You can have it all, and you don’t have enough’ is one of the dominant lies the devil and his demons are marketing, especially at Christmas. And, according to surveys, it’s the first thing 90% of you woke up to today, because the first thing you did this morning was look at your discontentment preaching device (just to be clear, that’s your mobile phone).
Greed’s casualty list grows daily. Gordan Gekko, in the sequel to Wall Street, calls greed a weapon of mass destruction. How can we escape its clutches and find the elusive inner peace we’re looking for? Through confession that leads to contentment in Christ. We bring our whipped into a frenzy disordered desires to God. As we do so, through 1 John 1:9, we feast on the unfathomable riches of Christ, giving thanks for his mercy, love, kindness, goodness and grace. We learn contentment, as we preach to ourselves, just as Paul did, that Christ really is enough for me (Philippians 4:10-13). Fellowship, intimacy, communion with his holy person is worth more than eighty tons of gold, 40,000 horses and 1,000 sex partners. Solomon wasn’t beyond the grace of God, and neither are you.
Thank you holy God of love that though I am dark in sin, I am lovely to you in Christ. Forgive me for acquiring rather than abiding. Forgive me for seeking security in money, approval in followers, and significance in achievements. For your love is better than wine. Your love is better than anything this world can offer. May my life not march to the drum beat of more, more, more but Christ, Christ, Christ. Please help me to learn contentment, and to glory in the unfathomable riches of Christ, of his great love and forgiveness for his unfaithful bride. Amen.